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Coffey County jury finds woman guilty of mistreatment, murder of husband

BURLINGTON, Kan. – A Coffey County jury today found Carol Sue Burris, 69, of New Strawn, Kan., guilty of one count of reckless second degree murder and one count of mistreatment of an elder person, the Kansas Attorney General’s Office reported in a press release.

The charges stemmed from the mistreatment and death of Burris’ husband, Michael D. Burris, in New Strawn from April 2016 to October 2017.

Chief Judge Taylor J. Wine presided over the trial, which began April 22. Sentencing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. June 27, 2019, in Coffey County District Court.

Deputy Attorney General Steve Karrer and Coffey County Attorney Wade H. Bowie II are prosecuting the case. The case was investigated by the Coffey County Sheriff’s Office.

I-35 pavement marking project covers Osage, Franklin and Coffey counties

The Kansas Department of Transportation has started a pavement marking project on Interstate 35. The work begins at the I-35 and U.S. Highway 75 junction and continues northeast to Eisenhower Road at Ottawa.

The existing pavement markings are being removed and replaced. Northbound and southbound I-35 traffic will be restricted to one lane with a reduced speed limit at the work zone. Weather permitting, the project should be finished by late July.

KDOT awarded the construction contract of $950,000 to Traffic Control Company, of St. Louis, Mo. For more information, contact Troy Howard at the KDOT office in Garnett, 785-448-5446, or Priscilla Petersen at the Chanute KDOT office, 620-902-6433.

Boil water advisories issued for multiple public water supply systems in Lyon, Coffey counties

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued boil water advisories for 12 public water supply systems in Lyon and Coffey Counties. KDHE officials issued the advisories because of a line break in Emporia, resulting in a loss of pressure. Failure to maintain adequate pressure may result in a loss of chlorine residuals and bacterial contamination.

The boil water advisory issued for the city of Emporia earlier today remains in effect.

The water systems in Lyon and Coffey counties currently under a boil water advisory are as follows: City of Admire, Lyon County, city of Allen, Lyon County, Coffey County Rural Water District 2E, Coffey County, city of Emporia, Lyon County, city of Hartford, Lyon County, Lyon County Rural Water District 1, Lyon County, Lyon County Rural Water District 2, Lyon County, Lyon County Rural Water District 3, Lyon County, Lyon County Rural Water District 4, Lyon County, Lyon County Rural Water District 5, Lyon County, city of Olpe, Lyon County, Park Place Communities Management, Lyon County.

The advisories took effect on July 20, 2017, and will remain in effect until conditions that place the systems at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved adequately.

  • Customers should observe the following precautions until further notice:
  • Boil water for one minute prior to drinking or food preparation, or use bottled water.
  • Dispose of ice cubes and do not use ice from a household automatic icemaker.
  • Disinfect dishes and other food contact surfaces by immersion for at least one minute in clean tap water that contains one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water.
  • Water used for bathing does not generally need to be boiled. Supervision of children is necessary while bathing so that water is not ingested. Persons with cuts or severe rashes may wish to consult their physicians.
  • If your tap water appears dirty, flush the water lines by letting the water run until it clears.

Public water suppliers in Kansas take all measures necessary to notify customers quickly after a system failure. Regardless of whether it is the supplier or KDHE that announces a boil water advisory, KDHE will issue the rescind order following testing at a certified laboratory.

Coffey County man used PlayStation to collect child porn

WICHITA, Kan. – A Coffey County man pleaded guilty today to using a PlayStation video game console to obtain child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Kansas.

The office reported that Michael L. Stratton, 30, Burlington, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of receiving child pornography. In his plea, Stratton admitted using a PlayStation 3 to chat about child pornography and trade child pornography.

KBI arrests Coffey County sheriff’s deputy


Matthew Vander Linden

BURLINGTON, Kan. – An investigation by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation has led to the arrest of Matthew G. Vander Linden, a deputy of the Coffey County Sheriff’s Office.

Vander Linden, 28, was arrested Tuesday afternoon for two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, one count of electronic solicitation, and one count of sexual exploitation of a child. The arrest took place without incident at the Coffey County Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation, which began Dec. 20, was initiated at the request of the Coffey County Sheriff’s Office. Vander Linden has been with the sheriff’s office since March 2014. Effective today, his employment at the sheriff’s office was terminated.

According to a press release, the KBI’s investigation is ongoing, and no further information will be released at this time.

Wind farm under construction; oversize loads head to Coffey County through December

The Ad Astra wind farm in southeast Kansas has begun construction and approximately 900 oversize loads will be traveling the routes listed below to locations in Coffey County for construction of the wind farm. The planned completion of the wind farm is the first week of December. Oversize loads will be traveling the below routes through that time.

The first movement of the windmill components for the wind farm began last week. The public should expect for two components to be delivered per day, Monday through Friday. The loads include transport vehicles that range in size to 209 feet in length, 16 feet 7 inches high, 16 feet wide, and 417,000 pounds gross weight.

Approximately 800 oversize loads will be transported from Emporia on Interstate 35 to U.S. 75, then south at Beto Junction to Coffey County’s 24th Road, then east.

Approximately 100 loads will be transported south out of Emporia on state Highway 99 to U.S. Highway 54, then east to U.S. Highway 75, then north to 24th Road, then east.

U.S. 75 road work in Coffey County to start Wednesday at Osage County line

Wednesday, June 24, the Kansas Department of Transportation expects to begin a 17-mile mill and resurfacing project on U.S. Highway 75 from the Osage County line south to Burlington.

The location of the project’s initial phase has changed. Starting at the Osage-Coffey county line and continuing south to Burlington, the contractor will first mill and then place an asphalt overlay on the roadway. Flaggers and a pilot car will direct one-lane traffic through the work zone. Traveler delays of 15 minutes or less can be expected during daylight hours.

In mid-July the project activity is expected to move to U.S. 75 inside the city of Burlington. The contractor will replace the concrete pavement at the intersection of U.S. 75 and Neosho Street.

NWS issues tornado warning for Osage, Coffey, Lyon counties

The National Weather Service in Topeka has issued a tornado warning for southwestern Osage County, northwestern Coffey County, and east central Lyon County until 6 p.m. At 5:34 p.m. a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near Neosho Rapids and moving northeast at 50 mph. Radar indicated rotation.

Possible impact is flying debris, which will be dangerous to those caught without shelter. Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed. Damage to roofs, windows and vehicles will occur. Tree damage is likely. This dangerous storm will be near Reading around 5:50 p.m., and Melvern Lake around 5:55 p.m. This includes Interstate 35 between mile markers 136 and 149.

Coffey County Attorney named as 4th Judicial District judge


Judge Douglas Witteman

Gov. Sam Brownback announced Sept. 24, 2014, the appointment of Douglas P. Witteman as district judge in the 4th Judicial District of Kansas. Witteman will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Thomas H. Sachse, whose courtroom was in Ottawa. 

Coffey County Lake to host 10th Veterans Memorial Bass Tournament

The 10th annual Kansas Veteran’s Memorial Bass Tournament in memory of fallen Kansas Guard members will take place Saturday, April 26, at Coffey County Lake, south of Wolf Creek Generating Station near Burlington, Kan. on Highway 75.

In her first book, Ottawa author examines grisly, unsolved Coffey County murder

The house where Florence Knoblock was murdered in 1925 still stands in a pasture in Coffey County, Kansas. Photo by Stephan Anderson-Story.


An Ottawa author will be speaking about her first book, about a 1925 unsolved Kansas murder, at 7 p.m. Aug. 7 at Lyndon Community Center.

Diana Staresinic-Deane’s book, Shadow on the Hill: The True Story of a 1925 Kansas Murder, is about the slaying of a Coffey County woman, Florence Knoblock, which is said to be the most brutal murder in the history of Coffey County.

Texas woman dies in I-35 crash in Osage County early Monday

BETO JUNCTION, Kan. – A Texas woman was killed in a single car accident early Monday morning near Beto Junction on northbound Interstate 35. That accident was followed a few hours later by a semi-truck hitting a Kansas Department of Transportation warning vehicle about a mile away.

A report by the Kansas Highway Patrol said that Patricia M. Falconer, 52, of Canyon Lake, Texas, died in the accident that occurred around 5:30 a.m. Monday, July 15, 2019, about 2.5 miles from the I-35 and U.S. Highway 75 interchange, in Osage County, Kan., known locally as Beto Junction.

The report said Falconer was driving a 1999 Ford Explorer northbound on I-35 near mile marker 158, with a passenger, Jeffrey Tyler Cadman, 27, Canyon Lake, Texas. For an unknown reason, the vehicle left the roadway and entered the center grassy median. The vehicle turned back onto the roadway and crossed both lanes of northbound travel, entering the south ditch. The driver over-corrected and the Explorer rolled several times, coming to rest facing northwest on its wheels in the south ditch of the northbound lanes.

Cadman was listed as having suspected serious injuries and was transported to Overland Park Regional Hospital, Overland Park, Kan. Both Falconer and Cadman were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

About two hours after the fatality accident, at 7:55 a.m., a Kansas Department of Transportation vehicle was involved in a collision with a semi-truck in the vicinity of the earlier crash. A KHP report on that accident said the KDOT truck with a sign board trailer was legally parked on I-35 in the northbound lane about 1.5 miles east of the I-35 and U.S.75 interchange, when a northbound 2019 International truck, driven by Morris J. Guesby, 55, Lawrence, Kan., struck the stopped KDOT truck, a 2009 Sterling.

The driver of the KDOT truck, Christopher A. Staley, 48, Williamsburg, Kan., was transported to Coffey County Hospital, Burlington, Kan., with suspected minor injuries. Guesby was reported as possibly injured and complained of pain, but he was not transported to a hospital. Both drivers were wearing proper safety restraints at the time of the accident.

Eric Eugene Johnson, 61, Lebo: Feb. 15, 1958 – May 30, 2019

LEBO, Kan. – Eric Eugene Johnson, 61, Lebo, Kan., died at his home on May 30, 2019.

Eric was born on Feb. 15, 1958, at Ottawa, Kan., to Leon Johnson and Sharon Lee (Gragg) Johnson.

Eric graduated from Melvern High School, Melvern, Kan., in 1976. He spent most of his life as a construction welder and mechanical maintenance technician, both here and abroad.

NWS issues flash flood warning for east central Kansas

The National Weather Service, Topeka, Kan., has issued a flash flood warning for Osage County, northern Franklin County, southern Douglas County, northwestern Coffey County, and central Lyon County until 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, 2019.

At 4:07 p.m. today, Osage County Emergency Management reported state Highway 31 was closed west of the roundabout at U.S. Highway 75 due to water over the road.

Thunderstorms with heavy rain have already produced to three inches of rain and another round of heavy rainfall is expected through the early evening. Flash flooding is expected to begin shortly.

The flood warning includes Emporia, Ottawa, Baldwin City, Osage City, Eudora, Wellsville, Overbrook, Lyndon, Centropolis, Lebo, Americus, Pomona, Olpe, Quenemo, Melvern, Lone Star, Neosho Rapids, Reading, Olivet and Pleasant Grove.

Additional rainfall amounts of one to two inches are possible in the warned area. The warning area includes Interstate 35 between mile markers 128 and 198, and the Kansas Turnpike between mile markers 117 and 144.

Turn around, don’t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.

Osage County Jail Log, April 15 – April 20, 2019

The following individuals were booked into the Osage County Jail in connection with charges or warrants as listed by the arresting agency.

Snowstorm shuts down meals on wheels, local meal sites Wednesday

SNOW-SHOVELING-11Due to the weather, the ECKAAA Nutrition Program kitchen will be closed Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. All nutrition sites in Osage County at Burlingame, Carbondale and Osage City will be closed and meal delivery is cancelled for the day.

The closures also affects sites in Lane, Ottawa, Pomona, Lane, Richmond, Sunflower Plaza, Wellsville and Williamsburg, in Franklin County; Colony, Garnett and Kincaid, in Anderson County;  Burlington, Lebo and Waverly, in Coffey County; Louisburg, Osawatomie, and Paola, in Miami County; and Blue Mound, Centerville, Mound City, Parker and Pleasanton, in Linn County.

Postponing an event, cancelling services for the day? Email [email protected], or post your cancellation in the comment section below where everybody in Osage County can see it.  Keep warm and safe, Osage County.

Remember to check the County Calendar for up to date event listings.

Weather cancellation: Meal delivery, nutrition sites closed Wednesday due to cold

Due to the weather the East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging nutrition program kitchen will be closed Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, which also closes all the nutrition sites. Nutrition sites will not be open today at Burlingame, Carbondale, and Osage City and meal delivery is cancelled in Osage County. Also closed will be  sites at Lane, Ottawa, Pomona, Richmond, Sunflower Plaza, Wellsville and Williamsburg, in Franklin County; Colony, Garnett and Kincaid in Anderson County;  Burlington, Lebo and Waverly in Coffey County; Louisburg, Osawatomie, and Paola in Miami County; and Blue Mound, Centerville, Mound City, Parker and Pleasanton in Linn County. For more information, contact ECKAAA at 785-242-7200 or 1-800-633-5621.

Osage County News will share weather cancellations, postponements and closures. Report your weather closure to [email protected].

NWS issues dense fog advisory for Tuesday night through Wednesday morning

The National Weather Service in Topeka has issued a dense fog advisory for eastern central Kansas, in effect from midnight tonight to 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan.16, 2019. Widespread fog producing visibility of one-quarter mile or less is forecast to develop tonight and persist into Wednesday morning.

The advisory area includes Morris, Lyon, Osage, Franklin, Coffey, Anderson counties and the cities of Council Grove, Emporia, Osage City, Carbondale, Lyndon, Burlingame, Overbrook, Ottawa, Burlington, Lebo, and Garnett.

Poor visibility will create hazardous driving conditions. With temperatures falling below 32 degrees, slick surfaces may also exist, especially on area bridges and overpasses. This will also have the potential to result in hazardous travel conditions.

A dense fog advisory means visibilities will frequently be reduced to less than one quarter mile. If driving, slow down, use your headlights, and leave plenty of distance ahead of you.

Winter weather moves in for weekend

National Weather Service in Topeka has issued an urgent winter weather message warning of a winter weather advisory that remains in effect from 6 p.m. this evening Jan. 11, 2019, to 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12.

Snow with accumulations of 2 to 6 inches are expected to begin this evening across east central, north central and northeast Kansas.

The advisory covers Republic, Washington, Marshall, Nemaha, Brown, Cloud, Clay, Riley,  Pottawatomie, Jackson, Jefferson, Ottawa, Dickinson, Geary, Morris, Wabaunsee, Shawnee, Douglas, Lyon, Osage, Franklin, Coffey and Anderson counties.

A winter weather advisory means periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties.  Expect snow covered roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving. The latest road conditions for the state can be obtained by calling 511.

Osage County Jail Log, Dec. 17 – Dec. 22, 2018

The following individuals were booked into the Osage County Jail in connection with charges or warrants as listed by the arresting agency.

Carrol (Ramsey) Niles Henderson, 92, Lyndon: June 12, 1926 – Nov. 5, 2018

LYNDON, Kan. – Carrol (Ramsey) Niles Henderson, 92, passed away on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, at Via Christi Hospital, Wichita, Kan. She was born on June 12, 1926, in Ft. Scott, Kan., the daughter of Dr. Arch and Nellie (Kelly) Ramsey.

Carrol grew up in Uniontown, Kan., and had lived near Lyndon, Kan., from 1950 to 2015, when she moved to Wichita.

Carrol attended Ft. Scott Junior College and then transferred to Kansas State University where she earned a BS in General Home Economics in 1948.

Carrol worked as an Extension home agent for Leavenworth County, and in 1950 was the first Extension home economist for Coffey County. She was the first female school board member for Lyndon Schools in the early 1960s. In 1974, she received her MS in Institutional Management from K-State. She served on the Kansas Dietetic Associations Committee for licensure of dieticians in 1988, became the first licensed dietitian in the state of Kansas in 1991, and was the Distinguished Kansas Dietitian. As a dietitian, Carrol planned meals for several nursing homes over the years, the first of which were in Lyndon and Overbrook.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas